Feb. 7, 2020

 

           

 

This week at the

General Assembly

 

STATE HOUSE — Here are the highlights from news and events that took place in the General Assembly this week. For more information on any of these items visit http://www.rilegislature.gov/pressrelease

 

 

§  House passes bill notifying State Police and police in gun buyer’s hometown
The House of Representatives passed legislation (2020-H 7103Aaa) introduced by Rep. Daniel P. McKiernan (D-Dist. 7, Providence) that would require gun sellers to forward firearm applications to the superintendent of State Police and the police department of the city or town where the buyer resides. The measure now moves to the Senate where similar legislation (2020-S 2154) has been introduced by Senate Minority Leader Dennis L. Algiere (R-Dist. 38, Charlestown, South Kingstown, Westerly).
Click here to see news release.

 

·         Senate passes Lynch Prata bill that raises the minimum wage to $11.50

The Senate has passed legislation (2020-S 2147A) introduced by Judiciary Committee Chairwoman Erin Lynch Prata (D-Dist. 31, Warwick, Cranston) that would increase the hourly minimum wage to $11.50.  The current minimum wage is $10.50 and was instituted on Jan. 1, 2019.  Rep. David A. Bennett (D-Dist. 20, Warwick, Cranston) has introduced similar legislation (2020-H 7157) in the House.

Click here to see news release.

 

§  Senate introduces legislative package to address high prescription costs
The Senate introduced a package of bills aimed at addressing the high price of prescription drugs. The eight bills aim to reduce the cost of prescriptions by providing a pathway to import less-costly drugs from Canada, providing more market transparency, raising consumer awareness around price changes and limiting patients’ share of the costs.
Click here to see news release.

§  Leader Shekarchi bill would require full insurance coverage for EpiPens
House Majority Leader K. Joseph Shekarchi (D-Dist. 23, Warwick) has introduced legislation (2020-H 7265) to require health insurers in Rhode Island to cover the full cost of life-saving epinephrine injectors, commonly known by the brand name EpiPen.
Click here to see news release.

§  Sen. Goodwin, Rep. Slater to submit Nursing Home Staffing Quality of Care Act

Senate Majority Whip Maryellen Goodwin (D-Dist. 1, Providence) and Rep. Scott A. Slater (D-Dist. 10, Providence) will be introducing legislation that will establish a nursing home minimum staffing standard, raise wages for caregivers, and provide needed training opportunities for caregivers.

Click here to see news release.

 

§  Sen. Metts proposes reform of asset forfeiture law
Sen. Harold M. Metts (D-Dist. 6, Providence) is sponsoring legislation that aims to reform the state’s civil asset forfeiture laws to prevent Rhode Islanders from having their property unfairly seized or from facing an uphill battle to get it back when no crime has been proven.
Click here to see news release.

§  Bill would allow injured police dogs ambulance transport, EMT care

Rep. David A. Bennett (D-Dist. 20, Warwick, Cranston) has introduced a bill (2020-H 7124) to allow EMTs to provide emergency care to police dogs injured on duty and transport them to a veterinary facility.

Click here to see news release.

 

§  Rep. Shanley introduces Secure Choice Retirement Savings Trust Act
Rep. Evan P. Shanley (D-Dist. 24, Warwick) has introduced legislation that would create a state-run retirement savings program for employees who do not have access to a retirement savings plan through work. The legislation (2020-H 7461) would establish a public corporation that would act as an investment board for the retirement savings trust. It would also allow for the creation of IRA-type retirement investments managed by the investment board.
Click here to see news release.

 

§  Rep. McNamara bill would allow certain patients to use experimental drugs
Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston) has introduced legislation (2020-H 7266) that would create the Rhode Island Terminally Ill Patients Right to Try Act of 2020, which would establish the conditions for the use of experimental treatments. Under the legislation, a clinical trial patient would have the right to continue the experimental treatment in a hospital setting, provided the patient or guardian signs a waiver of liability in favor of the hospital and its staff.
Click here to see news release.

 

§  Sen. Gallo bill would allow, clarify funding of school field trips
Sen. Hanna M. Gallo (D-Dist. 27, Cranston, West Warwick) has introduced legislation that would allow school committees to budget funding for school field trips. The legislation would guarantee that all students have the same ability to attend field trips. It would also allow schools to raise funds to supplement field trip funding. Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston) has introduced a similar bill (2020-H 7069A) in the House.
Click here to see news release.

 

 

 

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For an electronic version of this and all press releases published by the Legislative Press and Public Information Bureau, please visit our Web site at www.rilegislature.gov/pressrelease.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Russian government appears to be trying to help Bernie Sanders get to the White House. The Washington Post reports American intelligence officials have told the Vermont Senator about the country's push to aid in his campaign. Sanders responded by calling Russian President Vladimir Putin an "autocratic thug" and saying "I don't care, frankly, who Putin wants to be president."        President Trump is ridiculing Democrats ahead of the Nevada presidential caucuses. Hosting a rally in Las Vegas, Trump talked about the mess over voter tabulations in the Iowa caucuses and said Dems can't count votes.        The former ambassador to Ukraine is writing a book about her time in foreign service. Marie Yovanovitch, who was a key witness in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump, will pen an untitled memoir that will take her from Eastern Europe to Washington DC, where "she found a political system beset by many of the same challenges she had spent her career combating overseas."        A mother who refuses to say where her missing children are is staying put in Hawaii for now. A judge kept Lori Vallow's bail at five-million dollars today and set her extradition hearing for March 2nd. She was arrested yesterday after missing a court deadline in Idaho to prove her seven-year-old son and 17-year-old daughter are alive.        Stocks are down sharply to close out the week on renewed fears over the coronavirus. Microsoft and Nike fell more than two percent each in Friday's trading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 227 points to 28-992.        An NFL player made his first federal court appearance in West Texas today on drug charges. A judge set bond for Greg Robinson at 25-thousand dollars Friday morning while also telling him he could not have access to guns or talk with his accused accomplice. Robinson was arrested earlier this week at the Sierra Blanco checkpoint with Border Patrol agents saying more than 150 pounds of pot were in his SUV.